Royal Navy Vs University

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Tomahawk, Feb 24, 2010.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi there.
    (I think I've posted something like this before but I thought I would ask for some more advice)

    I'm currently in the process of applying to be an Officer in the RN (More specifically a Warfare Officer.) However, I'm also applying to University. (Leicester, Queen Mary's London and Hull for 20th Century/Contempary/Modern History and Kent and Kings College London for War Studies.)

    The question is, do I go to Uni and then the RN or straight into the Navy.

    Any answers are welcome


  2. University was the best three years of my life to date. However it's a completely personal question. If your heart is set on the navy as a career and you are willing to commit to it when some of your mates are getting loans to go on the piss and sleep around, then go for it. I at the age of 18, knew I was nowhere near mature enough to commit myself to the navy for the ideal 12 years and would have washed out of BRNC within the first term tarring any hope of reapplying later on. But as I said its up to the individual if you genuinely are keen and mature enough then get stuck in and good luck with it.
  3. Join the RN, I am 24, I did the uni thing, I then did a Masters. I regret it somewhat now. I wish I had applied when I was 18 and i'm sure (if I pass AIB and get in) that I will come to regret it at some point in my career.

    Honestly university is not all it is cracked up to be, a degree is not worth half as much as those pushing you to go would have you believe - particularly if you do a social science as you are thinking of doing. My undergrad degree was in Politics and International Relations - I can name on 1 hand the people who graduated with me who have good jobs and steady careers. Many of the others are competing with school leavers for low paying jobs in areas they really would rather not work in. Unless you are going to be studying a career qualification subject such as law, medicine, accounting, engineering, dentistry I really think it is criminally overrated.

    If you know the RN is where you want to be, don't delay, go for it now and make the most of it. In 3 years, if you get in, you will be earning good money, debt free, having travelled to some interesting places, challenged yourself and your future will be secure. Your friends will be leaving uni, up to their eyeballs in debt, drowning in an ever increasing sea of competing graduates going for very few graduate entry level jobs. In short, they will be struggling and lacking direction, you will be thriving and enjoying life.

    If I had to do it again, it would be a 'no brainer' as the Yanks would say!

    Oh and if you think you'll miss out on piss ups and women, then you have obviously missed some of the run ashore tales on this very site.
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator


    Another alternative is to consider the following, from a tip-top source:

    The conundrum - when do you join?

    Hypothetical triplets A,B & C, who pass everything at first attempt, based on current rates of pay:

    All achieve minimum of 5 GCSE's A*-C (Including maths & English).

    A: Joins as a Royal Navy Rating aged 16

    B: Goes to 6th Form then joins as an RN Officer

    C: Goes to 6th Form, followed by uni, then joins as an RN Officer.

    After 2 years.

    A: Initially earns £205 per week (Net) starting pay, gaining in-service qualifications & experience. Goes on to earn around £31,680 over 2 years, whilst siblings gain A Levels

    B: Earns £30 per week EMA for two years, possibly takes on a part-time job to augment income. Passes AIB at 16, earns £1050 scholarship per year. Gains sufficient A levels to join as Officer- Passes AIB, starts as a Young Officer on £15, 268, passing out as a Sub/Lt on £24,132

    C: Earns £30 per week EMA for two years, possibly takes on a part-time job to augment income. Passes AIB at 16, earns £1050 scholarship per year. Gains sufficient A levels- Passes AIB, earns Bursary (£1500 per year) & Reserved place, starts university.

    2-3 Years later

    A: Completes taskbook for Leading Hand,. Promoted to Leading Hand after 4 years, now earning £27,051 per year, goes for Upper Yardsman/Commission, passes AIB. Undergoes training, passes out BRNC, now earning £29,000. Now has 5 years practical service experience. Has already earned a total of around £87,000

    B: Promoted to Lieutenant earning around £37,172 . Now has 3 years practical service experience. Has earned a total of around £67,400

    C: Passes selection, joins as Sub Lt. Awarded 2.5 years seniority. Has a Degree. Can expect £15-£20,000 student debt, will earn £29,006 first year of service.
  5. I have to say, I disagree with lonestar, although I can see their point of view. I went to Uni and did a Science Degree and it was a brilliant three years. I left home and had the experience of washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning and living with others you wouldn't necessarily choose to live with. I have to say I'm not in that much debt, even though I lived away from home, you don't have to be if you act right in your head.
    At the end of the day, University is not for everyone, but neither is the Navy. Personally, I loved University and had a ball whilst my confidence grew but in the's entirely up to you.
  6. ERRRM Ninja.

    If A joins at 16 after a two-year (waiting list) do we have to put his name down for the RN at birth or is the best option to put ALL of the triplets down at birth?
  7. I started an initial application for Officer Entry as I was finishing up my A-Levels, and wish I had carried on with it rather than Uni!! I graduated this year, 3 years down the line, with a £21,000 debt along with a degree which only use to me now is the extra salary it will earn me as an Officer...but then I will have loan repayments to make from that extra money - so no real gain! As with a comment above - there arent even any grad jobs about! The only thing that uni has provided me with is the experience of living away from home, but it has to be done at some point!
  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator


    The age is irrelevant with regard the hypothetical comparator example, it depends on the academic qualifications, the trade joined, & the career prospects. They could all take a trendy "year out" if they wish after year 11 also - the ages aren't necessarily representative, the educational achievements are.

    Anyone can start the application to join as a rating, with parental consent at age 15 years, 9 months, (whilst still in year 11) - there are about 10 different ratings trades available with waiting times under 15 months which would mean a person could still join aged 16 at present.

    Granted, unless the economy picks up it's getting less & less likely that a person will be able to join aged 16.
  9. I was all set to try for uni but had a funny spell, joined the Mob at 16 and haven't looked back since. I've had 4 1/2 years of cracking runs ashore, meeting ace people, seeing awesome (and shitty) places, doing all sorts of stuff my mates can't afford/will never get the chance to do, branch transferred and am currently in the process of getting an in-service degree with guaranteed hooks by Xmas. Also plan on going UY at some point and have been advised to go for it. Fcuk university. :)
  10. It's very much up to you. There are people who have posted, saying they when to uni first, and loved it. I however, was in a similar position to you this summer. I had applied to uni, and had got an excellent place at Queens, NI. I had known it wasn't what I wanted from the start of 6th year, but I had convinced myself that it was what I had to do. Then, when I realised it wasn't what I wanted, I quickly realised that the RN was the one option that I really wanted to explore. I sat my psychometric tests the day before I got my A Level results, and even when I was told that I had got my place, I wasn't interesed.

    Looking back, I'm glad I personally didn't go, but that is just me. You need to think what it is you want to do. Not what you think you should do, or what Joe Bloggs up the street thinks you should do.
  11. I would say do your AIB at 15, get a two year VIth scholarship and University Cadetship - best of all worlds.... Expect none of this exists anymore!

    If you want to be a real high flyer, then joining at any point after 21 will career foul you, and joining at 18 allows for some more 'fun' jobs in the RN whilst keeping you on track.

    NCEs from my entry do tend to be a little less 'rounded' in real life (a gross generalisation), mainly because they spent those formative 18-21 years being sold by Chief Stokers in bars in the West Indies; DGEs tend to have a slightly bigger picture, having seen a world outside the dark blue. Those differences are now v small (because of 10 years of indoctrination), and there are other positives/negatives available for each option.

    Only you can make the call, but remember if you stay in long enough, as an NCE you can still gain MSc/MA/MBA in-service later on in your career.
  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    True, but we can only sell them by the gross nowadays due to the recession. :cry:

    Conversely DGE's having a "bigger picture" isn't always an advantage from the RN perspective, although the life experience can be.

    An additional fair point raised by AtG reference Triplet "B":

    A NCE will pass out as a Mid, promoted to Sub Lt at the 2 year point, and then to Lt RN at the 5 year point. Not 'on passing out' and 'after 2-3 years' respectively.
  13. I have already been to Uni once, well for a year, and did crummy Primary teaching, but I have a place at Portsmouth to do a totally pointless degree, which will probably be interesting, not quite £21,000 worth of interesting mind, but fun! But what to doooo! I will be too old soon, I do not want to go all Old School on campus, and I want to join the cheerleading team to fulfil a lifeling ambition of mine :lol: The URNU looks good, but when I contacted them the polite man basically stated that they get so many applicants every year that unless you are amazing you won't get in, so not to be dissapointed, think he was suggesting something.

    Nice to know other people have no clue about what to do either! I know what I want to eventually do, but decisions decisions decisions. I need an 8 ball. Good luck in whatever you do :) Uni was awesome, I loved every second of it except for the course; but you get the experience of living away and meeting new people etc in the Navy too- and you dont have to go around nicking other peoples food as your loan seemed to spend itself on cheap alcohol and pizza.
  14. I'm currently at uni and was all set to leave and join up. I was told there is a 2 year wait and I have 2 years left of my degree...a sign perhaps...anyway I'm staying on and doing my degree whilst I go through the application process. Best of both worlds I suppose. But I would leave tomorrow if Raleigh had room!!
  15. Hull's shit. That's all I have to say on the matter
  16. It's ok. Decided to go to Uni then the Navy. Kent for War Studies is my firm choice.
  17. If you can't trap in Hull, then you are officially ugly. "Tower for an hour" anyone?!

    Hull is awesome if you take it for what it is - don't expect an enclave of west London.

    If you do do War Studies, pse don't become an utter bore during BRNC and your subsequent career.....
  18. Tower re-opened recently. Then it shut down again. I'm not sure but I think it opened again. Either way it's a dive but like you say, good for getting yer wick wet.

    Granted, it's not all bad, I'm just a bit sick of it.
  19. Hull,top run ashore!!!
  20. Congrats, one of my mateys goes to Kent, they love it! They are in the OTC, and as well as having a 2 week outdoor trip in the holidays to Dartmoor; she is going to Seattle for a month...and getting paid for it! There may be slight possible moral arguments about er-why a student is getting paid to do a lot for not actually being involved in the military operationally or anything, but you know- may as well enjoy it if you can.


Share This Page